What to look for when buying a used BMW E46 M3

What to look for when buying a used BMW E46 M3

The BMW M3 is one of the most popular models in the automotive world. M3 is BMWAnd the What is Tom Cruise for Mission Impossible? It’s almost impossible to think of a BMW portfolio without heritage The M3. The model has gone through six generations of evolution, and each of them has seen a racetrack and never said never. Besides being great cars for the road, BMW has also tuned them out for the track. These BMWs made discussions about cars much more interesting.


Built from 2000 to 2006, the E46 M3 is by no means the unsung hero. He’s got all the attention he needs, if only because he truly deserves it. Every M3 before the E46 was a great driver’s car, but the E46 was a little special. With this model, BMW returned to the drawing boards, and started from scratch. After its introduction in 2000, enthusiasts took a swipe at what it looked like, and it’s been praised for its high-speed, naturally aspirated engine paired with either a 6-speed manual or an SMG II manual gearbox. Having looked and performed great, it became the biggest selling E46 platform in the 3 Series. It’s been nearly 20 years since BMW discontinued production of the E46 M3, but that hasn’t stopped it from being wanted in the industry. used car Market.

Related: Legendary Cars: A detailed look at the BMW E46 M3 GTR


Check your used BMW E46 M3 first

When inspecting the car body, make sure that the panels are in place; Shut-off lines should be even and tight, and keep an eye out for rust – this can be especially noticeable if the car was not assembled properly after a bad accident. Even the wheel arches and trunk should not show signs of repair.

The M3 seats, rearview mirror, and instrument cluster are different from those you’ll find on regular E46 models. Pay close attention to the status of these features, because they are not so easy to get, and they are also inexpensive. Most of the examples used come with good seating, and some models come with cloth rather than leather upholstery. Cars that have not been taken care of in hot climates usually come with problems at the front. Turn on the ignition and look for illuminated warning lights.

Also, while the car is running, double-check the air conditioner and heater. Simple electrical functions, such as electric seat adjustment, sunroof, electric windows and heated seats, should not be faulty.

A common wobble (and that’s a big one) is a cracked subframe. This could be an eye opening for a failed rear axle. Even M3s that aren’t driven hard on the track can show these signs. You should drive the car to the nearest workshop, ride it in the lift and have the technicians look for cracks near the subframe mounts. Of course, it can be fixed, but not without making a hole in your wallet.

Look at the mechanics of a used BMW E46 M3

The engine (code name: S54) is quite reliable, but the large-scale driven examples have issues with the throttle body and Vanos, due to the unit’s ability to overclock. Negligence in performing regular maintenance by the previous owner can lead to faulty gaskets and valve adjustments. Checking the service history, in this case, will help. If the engine is consuming a lot of oil, this may mean that the piston rings may need to be checked. We recommend looking for examples that have done no more than 50,000 miles. Replacing the water pump is necessary if coolant is leaking or the engine is overheating.

For those of you interested in an automated manual gearbox, you should know that it wasn’t the most refined version at the time. But E46 M3s equipped with this gearbox are cheaper than the six-speed manual gearbox models. If the gearbox was not regularly maintained by the previous owner, you are likely to experience jerks, overheating and irregular shifts. be cerfull; You don’t want to pay close to $10,000 when replacing a transmission. Replacing a car’s aluminum suspension system can be expensive. Look at all four tires and see if there is additional wear on a particular tire in the front. If you find the car veering to one side, despite the wheel alignment, it could be a sign of something serious.

The best advice we can give is to have a qualified mechanic who knows these cars do a pre-purchase inspection; It will be money well spent. If he finds a lot of expensive things wrong, you dodged a bullet. If he finds only minor problems but gives the car a clean bill of health, you have peace of mind to go ahead and buy the car.

Related: A detailed look at the 1995 BMW M3

Buying a used BMW E46 M3

It is important to point out the good and not so good parts of E46Because despite being a highly desirable model, one must realize that not all of them are well taken care of, and that command a great price. For reference: BMW made 85,766 cars. It was a mix of coupe and convertible, and that included M3 CSL (Coupe Sport Licht) sold exclusively in select markets.

Source: Sports Car Digest

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